Review by Dom Vigil
Summer Wars’ new EP Better Days has everything it takes to create a strong pop-punk EP. With high energy drums as the backbone to every song, strong lead guitar hooks, and catchy melodic vocals, it’s almost a shame that Better Days is only four songs long, one of which is a short intro track.
“Effortless” is the first full song on the EP and is easily the strongest track, as well. The lyricism on this song is a standout, as the vocals are very crisp and hook you immediately. The chorus is catchy as hell, but the part of “Effortless” that stands out is in the ending, when the vocals ring out with, “All our old favorite songs/Are painful fucking memories/Of a better day/When things came so effortlessly.” This line is strong and relatable, and while it’s a rather sad thought, the track also ends on a high note of, “This sinking ship can always be turned around.”
The strong backbone carries over into the following track, “Weight of the World,” but unfortunately, the vocal patterns on this track are very similar to “Effortless.” While the lyrics are still very strong and relatable, it would have been refreshing to hear a more diverse song on such a short EP. However, “Weight of the World” and “Effortless” show quite a bit of promise, and if given more songs to work with on a full length, Summer Wars promise to show more versatility.
Unfortunately, however, there are a few rather distracting moments on both “Weight of the World” and the following track, “Better Days,” and that comes in the overwhelming and somewhat overproduced sounding drumming. In the very end of “Weight of the World” especially, the drums simply drown out the rest of the band and make it really hard to hear anything else going on musically. This same thing happens in the very beginning of “Better Days,” as well. Thankfully, the remainder of “Better Days” makes up for it with strong verses, a solid guitar tone and catchy vocal melodies. It’s just the little things like the reverb effect on the vocals or the overpowering drums that tend to take away from the otherwise strong songwriting at times.
Better Days does have a very big and anthematic feeling to it, especially in the moments where every instrument works well together. It’s very hard to be able to tell exactly what a band is capable of from only four high energy tracks, but the strong songwriting that shines in these songs (such as the relatable lyrics in “Effortless” or the catchy verses in “Better Days”) shows great promise for Summer Wars. Give this group room for a few more songs, and it seems promising that they’ll blow you away with their high energy, strong backbone and meaningful lyrics.
Listen to "Effortless"
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